Who doesn’t dream of wandering the sun-drenched isles of Greece, or around the ancient Acropolis? Greece is one of the top travel destinations for those who are lovers of history, beaches, and natural beauty.
Figuring out where exactly to go in Greece, and where to stay, now that’s the trickiest part of the whole shebang. With so many incredible local accommodation options, figuring out lodging in Greece can be a bear, or should I say… a gorgon? Regardless, I’m here to help you figure out where to stay in Greece as well as revealing the best Greek accommodation options out there!
Whether you’re looking to visit the absolutely breathtaking cliff monasteries of Meteora or the iconic white and blue mountain villages of Santorini, I am here to hold your hand and pour you a shot of ouzo and reveal the best cities to stay in Greece!
As I’ve lived over a year of my life in Greece, and have traveled extensively there, I have your back and your best interests at heart! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share why I love Greece with you, and all the cities that I fell in love with. Ready to be swept off your feet? Let’s get to it!
Quick Answers: Where is the Best Place to Stay in Greece?
- Athens – Overall Best Place to Stay in Greece
- Ioannina – Best Place to Stay in Greece for Families
- Santorini – Where to Stay in Greece for Couples
- Mykonos – Coolest Place to Stay in Greece
- Thessaloniki – Where to Stay in Greece on a Budget
- Meteora – One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Greece
- Crete – Where to Stay in Greece for Adventure
- Naxos – Best Place to Stay in Greece for Greek Island Life
Map of Where to Stay in Greece
Athens is a travelers dream come true! Positively steeped in history, Athens is bursting at the seams with ancient wonders to behold. It’s not just about the Acropolis. From Hadrian’s Library to the Roman Agora, to the Temple of Zeus, you’re going to have so much to see that you want to make sure you have enough time to do it! Marveling at the remains of these ancient temples and monuments is a once in a lifetime experience.
Not only is Athens filled with historical wonders, but there’s also quite the hip scene going on there now. My personal favorites include doing things like enjoying unlimited spirit samples at the oldest bar in Athens, Brettos, and taking in the nighttime lights that spotlight the Acropolis from the top of Sky Bar.
Then of course, there’s walking stopping by for snacks at family-run tavernas, or doing some touristy shopping around Monastiraki— which translates to little monastery if anyone out there was wondering!
Now that I’ve convinced you that Athens is the place to be, let’s dig into where you should stay.
The Top Places to Stay in Athens
When looking at lodging in Greece, you won’t be at a loss deciding where to stay in Athens. There’s plenty of places to stay at a wide range of prices. Don’t worry— we only picked the best of the best for you!
Best Hostel in Athens – Mosaikon
While Mosaikon isn’t the cheapest of the cheap hostels out there, it’s mid-range and will definitely not disappoint. Mosaikon are known for their crisp, clean dorm rooms and from their unbeatable location. They’re located just 800m away from Syntagma Square which is buzzing with top-notch bars and restaurants. Another highlight of Mosaikon Hostel? It has a rooftop terrace with beautiful views of the Acropolis. As if this hostel wasn’t already the best!VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Athens – Urbanstudios Acropolis View
Go big or go home with this Athens apartment. Okay, it’s a small studio apartment that just fits two people all cozy and snuggly. However, what we mean by big is that it offers a BIG view of the Acropolis from the private balcony! This chic little urban studio apartment in the heart of the popular and touristy area of Monasthraki, puts you at the heart of it all. While there’s not a kitchen, there is a mini-fridge and a tea kettle plus a private bathroom.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Athens – Athens Lights
Athens Lights is situated right in the city center of Athens. With all the bells and whistles, and an affordable price tag, Athens Lights is one of our favorite spots when staying in Greece. We love the privacy, as well as the pristine clean rooms. The balconies are a nice touch, stocked with some patio furniture to soak up some rays!VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Ioannina spreads around the lovely Lake Pamvotida in the center of Greece. There is even a small island at the center of the lake with the monastery of Saint Nicholas Philanthropinon sitting in the center. It’s just about a three to four-hour drive from both Athens and Thessaloniki. So it’s easily accessible if you rent a car, or by public transportation as well!
Given the serene scenery and the tranquility of the still waters of Lake Pamvotida, Ioannina is the best place to visit in Greece with your family in tow! The kids will love sitting in the castle of Ioannina, built-in 528 AD. It’s absolutely magical. The historical center of town is strictly pedestrian and has plenty of restaurants and museums that the kids will love. Maybe skip the frog legs and eel though…
The Top Places to Stay in Ioannina
Ioannina is a quaint small town, that surrounds a lake. Given its size, you can bet your bottom dollar that there are some adorable places to stay in Ioannina. From gorgeously styled hotels to sweet studio apartments, you and your family will find your own slice of home in Ioannina.
Best Hostel in Ioannina – Backpackers and Travelers
This budget-friendly backpacker hostel recently opened in June 2019. It’s actually the only hostel, so far, in Ioannina. There are only six-bed dorms available, so dependent on the ages of your kids and the number of your kids, this hostel might be the perfect spot for you. This is a very homey and pleasant hostel with minimalist style dorm rooms.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Ioannina – Paris’s Central Studio
This Airbnb in Ioannina is perfect for you and your family. It is a two bed and one bathroom studio in central Ioannina that can comfortably fit four guests. It’s a bright and cozy space that is close to all you need. It’s exceptionally modern and beautifully styled! There is also an option to add a baby-cot if you’re traveling with a young one.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Ioannina – Kentrikon
Kentrikon is located in the heart of Ioannina and is gorgeously styled. With natural stone walls and shuttered windows. It feels a bit like medieval times has met the modern world! The full American breakfast buffet is a huge perk too.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
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When you think of the Greek islands, chances are you’re picturing Santorini. The picturesque white and blue houses that blanket the hillsides are to die for. I mean really— they are drool-worthy! When you are needing a hefty dose of romance in your relationship, couples should book the next ticket to Santorini.
This magical island is not just filled with Instagram-heaven architecture, but with winding roads, ancient ruins, red beaches, and black-sand beaches. If you’re feeling adventurous, head out to the Santorini Caldera on boat, and walk along a volcanic crater!
When it comes to places to stay in Greece, you can’t really find more expensive Greece accommodation options than in Santorini. Yet, I’ve been there on two separate trips without breaking the bank. Staying in downtown Fira is the way to go, but it can cost a pretty penny! Don’t worry, I’ve got your budget finely guide, friends.
The Top Places to Stay in Santorini
Santorini is a bigger island than you might guess, but it’s all well connected with public transportation. Buses run many times a day, and tickets are reasonably priced, so don’t fear about staying too close or too far away from your favorite sites. These Greek accommodation options below are sure to help you and your beloved make a thousand memories…
Best Hostel in Santorini – Fira Backpackers Place
Fira Backpackers Place is located in a beautiful and iconic downtown Fira area. Whether you and your significant other want to pinch pennies and stay in the dorm rooms, or get a private room at this hostel, you’re sure to be happy with your choice of staying here. Our favorite part of this hostel is the outdoor pool! There’s also social areas, and a living room with a big tv and plenty of DVDs to pop in.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Santorini – Santorini Seclusion
Located very close to downtown Fira, this Airbnb is quite the find. It’s just a ten minutes walk to the main bus station, if you want to explore more of the island. Filled with thoughtful touches and a darling balcony, guests are sure to feel right at home in this private room. Sign up for an unforgettable holiday in Santorini, couples!VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Santorini – Cyclades Hotel
The Cyclades Hotel is located within walking distance of Fira and is also situated close to a bus stop. There are also restaurants, bakeries, and even a supermarket located nearby. It’s the perfect location for seeing the entire island of Santorini with ease! You can’t get a much better price for hotels in Santorini too.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Thessaloniki is the second biggest city in Greece, right after Athens. And it’s one of the best places to stay in Greece for those who are traveling on a budget. Crucially, Thessaloniki is very easy to get to and around: you don’t have to worry about island hopping ferry tickets, there’s a large international Airport, and there are many buses and train. You can even take a night bus to and from Istanbul!
Thessaloniki was founded in 315BC and has lots of gorgeous landmarks to visit, from the White Tower to the Arch of Galerius to Aristotelous Square. As a port city, there aren’t any beaches, but there are plenty of relaxing waterfront restaurants to enjoy, and a long stretch of pavement to follow along the shoreline.
Also known as Greece’s cultural capital, staying in Greece wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Thessaloniki. There are plenty of art and film festivals, and other activities to enjoy.
Thessaloniki isn’t just about museums either: there are some cracking parties as well!
The Top Places to Stay in Thessaloniki
Of course, if you’re wondering where to stay in Greece on a budget, Thessaloniki is your answer! Thessaloniki has a burgeoning hostel scene and a pretty decent Airbnb scene too so there are plenty of places to stay in Thessaloniki. You won’t have to splurge to stay in these fun spots.
Best Hostel in Thessaloniki – Crossroads
Crossroads sits just ten minutes away from the city center, close to the Byzantine Walls. There are three different dorm rooms, and the dorm beds come in at a basement price! Known for a social atmosphere, you’re sure to make a friend or two at Crossroads.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Thessaloniki – Egnatia Cozy Studio
Coming in around 15 euros a night, this Airbnb in the city center of Thessaloniki is a steal! It’s a one-bedroom apartment that has one and a half bathrooms. It’s close to all public transportation as well as plenty of markets, restaurants, and cafes. You won’t worry about having to take a taxi when you rent this Airbnb. There’s also a kitchen so you can save some dough, by cooking for yourself!VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Thessaloniki – Pella
If you’re not looking to cram into a dorm room, while not breaking the bank, Pella Hotel is for you. This centrally located hotel comes at an affordable price point all while allowing guests easy access to all the best things Thessaloniki has to offer— from the traditional markets to the byzantine castle!VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Mykonos is hands down the second most popular island in Greece. It’s known for its epic party atmosphere that even draws out celebrities on their enormous yachts.
Mykonos is fun-loving and fashionable, and packs quite the party punch. Trust me, I’ve done my time in Mykonos.
Of course, Mykonos is more than just a party spot. There are the famous windmills, the ruins of Delos, an archeological museum, and plenty of stunning and iconic white and blue architecture.
While there are plenty of fun spots to stay in Mykonos, but the real place to be is at the heart of it all—namely the beautiful and artsy commune of Chora, also called Mykonos Town.
The Top Places To Stay in Mykonos
As a party island, you don’t want to miss out on the social scene. I adore the MyCocoon Hostel with its fun style and vibes. But if you want a bit of a breather, the Airbnb might be for you. If you want a little of both, go with Ilio Maris hotel.
Best Hostel in Mykonos – MyCocoon Hostel
MyCocoon Hostel is situated in Kaminaki, that’s directly across the street from the pedestrian entrance to Mykonos Town. With a price tag like this, plus with the uniquely designed furnishings and stylings of this hostel, MyCocoon is definitely the hostel to choose to stay in Mykonos. In fact, it’s one of the top places to stay in Greece!VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Mykonos – Studio with Garden View
This Mykonos Airbnb is in the perfect spot for accessing the beach, Chora, as well as the local bus! You’ll be just a couple minutes walk away from the main town. The room is simple and clean and has everything you need for a comfortable stay.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Mykonos – Ilio Maris
In my opinion, Ilio Maris is one of the best hotels in Greece. With gorgeous views of the famous windmills and over the sea, Ilio Maris is full of elegance and luxury. While the prices are double or triple what you’d pay at a hostel, if you want to splurge a little, this is the place to do it. Located in the center of Mykonos Town, this beautiful hotel will sweep you off your feet.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
While the name Meteora might not ring a bell, trust me, it’s a not-to-be-missed city. It’s one of the true gems of Greece. Meteora is known for its unique rock formations that are home to Eastern Orthodox monasteries which are built into the cliff-side rock formations themselves! These clifftop monasteries are one of the most unique things to witness and to visit in all of Greece.
Located in central Greece, Meteora is just a train ride away from most major cities. While it can be done in a day trip from Athens, you’ll be happiest if you stay a night or two in Meteora and soak up all the beauty unrushed — or in a fog from waking up at 5:00 am to catch a train.
Let’s cover the best places to stay in the tiny town of Meteora. There’s only one real area of town to stay in, called Kalambaka, so you won’t get in a tizzy trying to weigh your options. Just pick from my list below and you’ll be as happy as a clam!
Top Places To Stay in Meteora
As Kalambaka is the place to stay in Meteora, it’s brimming with darling hostels, hotels, and Airbnb that have plenty of charm. Built to retain the historic nature of the city, you’ll find a mix of rustic and modern accommodation options. These ones below will all make you swoon!
Best Hostel in Meteora – Meteora Central Hostel
Meteora Central Hostel is located in the heart of town, in Kalambaka. It was actually recently opened even though the house was built in 1950. You will love the brick and stone walls and beautiful wood floors. The furniture and furnishings are all brand new and are definitely up to snuff! There is also a small green backyard outside that is perfect for doing some morning yoga, or just for enjoying a cup of tea.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Meteora – Escape to Meteora
Sneak away to this beautiful Airbnb in Meteora in the center of Kalambaka, enclosed by the Meteora rock formations themselves. With this rental, you will have the entire apartment all to yourself! It’s a beautiful blend of old meets new, so you can enjoy the traditional style with modern amenities.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Meteora – Mythos Guesthouse
The Mythos Guesthouse is a great choice in Meteora if you don’t want to break the bank but still want a central, quiet, clean, and charming location. It’s great value for your money! The rooms have a lovely little balcony that offers a great side view of the rock formations.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
One of the top places to stay in Greece for adventure is the beautiful island of Crete. I spent three months there scuba diving and trust me, if you’re in Greece and are hungering for a hefty dose of adventure head on over to Crete.
With Evelin Dive Center, located near Rethymnon, I dove into underwater caves filled with prehistoric mammoth bones! Talk about adventure, right? If scuba diving isn’t for you, then you can always go hiking in the Samaria Gorge or learn how to parasail or kitesurf right on the Aegean Sea.
As the largest island in Greece, there is plenty to do on Crete for the thrill-seekers out there. Trust me, there’s more than just archeological sites and pristine beaches in Crete!
The Top Places To Stay in Crete
There are three main cities that travelers usually choose to stay in: the largest and busiest city of Heraklion, the smaller and more beautiful city of Chania, or the gem of them all— Rethymno. Rethymno is very picturesque and puts you right in between the two larger cities of Chania and Heraklion. So you’ll be sitting pretty in the heart of it all!
Best Hostel in Crete – Rethymno Youth Hostel
Rethymno Youth Hostel can’t be beaten when looking for where to stay in Crete. There is a tiled courtyard perfect for sunbathing, a patio for playing cards, and plenty of opportunities for socialization! Situated in the heart of Old Town, you’re sure to love staying in this neck of the woods.VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Crete – Luxurious Family Apartment
This family apartment offers breathtaking views of the Old Town of Rethymno, and of its castle as well. It is a three-bedroom and two bathroom apartment that can sleep a total of seven guests. So if you and your other adrenaline junkie friends are traveling as a group, this is definitely the best place for you! You’ll love the private terrace, filled with plants and wooden armchairs. Also, there’s a big kitchen, where you and your friends can whip up family meals!VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Crete – Hotel Ideon
The island hotels in Greece, and definitely in Crete, are known for being a bit on the opulent side of things. Therefore, it’s easy to spend more money on a hotel than you wanted to. However, at Hotel Ideon, you get maximum comfort with an affordable price. At Hotel Ideon you’ll be in the center of Rethymno and you’ll get a delicious buffet-style breakfast to boot!VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
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Naxos is a fertile and mountainous island with beautiful ancient ruins. There’s even a 13th-century hilltop castle to tour. However, during the summer high season, Naxos turns into quite a party scene with plentiful bars, nightclubs, and bouzoukis. You can hear all kinds of music, from jazz to Greek music to hip-hop.
Now now, there might be something that we have yet to mention yet that is glaringly obvious. Naxos has the best beaches! Inarguably, the most beautiful beach is Agios Prokopios Beach which is just 6km from Naxos town. It’s known for its beautiful golden sands and sparkling turquoise waters. There are also plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to enjoy a cocktail under!
Agios Georgios Beach is just 2km from Naxos Town and is very popular with windsurfing, and with people in general given its proximity to the main town. Then, of course, there is the perfect snorkeling waters of Asia Anna Beach with its charming fishing port. Let’s not forget to mention the more quiet beach of Plaka, that is crowd-free.
If you’re wanting to go experience the best Greek beach life, head to Naxos and you’ll soak up the beautiful sunshine while relaxing on the powdery Greek sands. Oh, Greek island life is simply divine!
The Top Places to Stay in Naxos
Staying close to Agios Georgios Beach, also called St. George Beach, is the way to go as you’ll be closest to the best restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes, and all the fun. You’ll also be in a good spot to hop on public transportation to check out the other beaches. Soak up the three beautiful accommodation options below and choose the one that’s right for you! They are also brimming with charm and allow you the best access to the beach.
Best Hostel in Naxos – Villa Kelly Apartments
While Naxos is a little behind the times and doesn’t have any hostels actually in operation yet, we would love to recommend the Villa Kelly Apartments for their budget-friendly prices and for their bright, sunny rooms. It’s also just a seven minutes walk from St. George Beach!VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Naxos – Nikiforos Apartment
This one bedroom and one bathroom private studio apartment is perfect for the solo-travelers or couple-travelers out there who want some peace and quiet, paired with perfect beach access. Just 150 meters from St. George Beach, and a 10-minute walk from Chora Beach and the castle. There is also a supermarket, cafe, bakery, and restaurants in the neighborhood!VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Naxos – Sweet Home Naxos
Just a few minutes walk from St. George Beach, Sweet Home Naxos is a beautiful family-run hotel that is sweetly styled. It’s modern, crisp, clean while still having just a bit of Greek flair! We’re sure you’ll love sitting on the patio and enjoying easy access to the beach from here.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Top Places to Stay in Greece
I count my lucky stars that Greece is chock full of so many great accommodation options. As I’m a big fan of Airbnb and hostel, I usually don’t crack open my piggy-bank to splurge on hotels. However, there are a few here and there that really make the extra expenditure worth it.
Best Hostel in Greece – Rethymno Youth Hostel – Crete
The Rethymno Youth Hostel is one of my tried and true favorite hostels in Europe. I love the delicious mix of laid back vibes paired with the social atmosphere. Plus, the streets that surround this hostel are drool-worthy— true Instagram heaven!VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Greece – Paris’s Central Studio – Ioannina
This two-bedroom and one bathroom, centrally located studio in Ioannina is a dream come true for travelers out there who are seeking to save some money while not sacrificing an ounce of luxury.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel in Greece – Ilio Maris – Mykonos
Take me back to my slice of paradise at Ilio Maris! This hotel drips luxury and is one of the best hotels in Greece. What’s better than taking a dip in the turquoise waters of the swimming pool while watching the sunset over the Aegean, with a cocktail in hand? This hotel is certainly worth the splurge!VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Books to read while traveling Greece
These are some of my favourite travel reads and books set in Greece which you should consider picking up before you begin your backpacking adventure…
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Eleni (1983): Gage writes here about his mother, Eleni, who was murdered by communist partisans during the Greek civil war. The book is an account of the way a life that was destroyed by war. Gage’s is a story of emigration and loss—themes essential to Greek culture—and also a study of how we cope with the tragedies of the past.
Ashes: Ashes is a suspenseful story of revenge, corruption, and conspiracy in Greek society.
Something Will Happen, You’ll See: A collection of short stories about the working-class in the port town Piraeus. The stories focus on families, seniors, and young couples, who struggle to make ends meet. These stories give readers an insight into Greek life with the economic crisis.
Greece: A Traveler’s Literary Companion: This is a compilation of 24 stories and essays based on the ancient Greek myths and modern tales.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Greece
As home to the gods, goddesses, and the mighty Olympians, Greece is a special place. From the underwater caves ready for you to explore in Crete to the beautiful beaches of Naxos to the windmills of Mykonos, I’m sure that wherever you choose to go, you’ll leave a bit of your heart behind in Greece.
Yeah, Greece can be expensive, but those budget places are going to keep your money in your pocket (spend it on the other islands instead!).
Whether you are seeking out thrills or quiet vibes, ritzy hotels or backpacker hostels, I hope that you found my guide of use! After spending over a year of my life in Greece, I’m gearing up for my 2020 summer trip back to Greece. Catch you on the beach, somewhere, dear readers!
Do you own or run a kick-ass hostel? Want to be featured on this list? Get in touch at [email protected]
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Greece
Shoutout from Will – The OG Broke Backpacker: Have fun on your backpacking adventure, but please do get insurance – take it from someone who has racked up tens of thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before: you need it.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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